Precision in Photonics. Together we shape light.


Our mission is to accelerate the advancement of optical technology for precision measurements and their applications from the table tops of research laboratories to standard use in communication and high technology industries. Our aim is to serve our customers. Our hope is to create a place for highly skilled people in an open environment.

Menlo Systems was founded in 2001 by Professor Hänsch, Dr. Ronald Holzwarth, Dr. Michael Mei, and Alex Cable as a spin-off from the renowned Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics around the optical frequency comb technology - a revolutionary and simple technique for measuring the frequency of light. This invention has been called "...the biggest advance in precision electromagnetic measurements since people began to measure laser frequencies in the seventies..."

In 2002, Menlo Systems launched the first optical frequency comb FC8004 enabling the users to measure optical frequencies with highest accuracies with a table top instrument. Since then, our company has set the standard in regard to optical precision measurements. The optical frequency combs have undergone continuous improvements driven by users worldwide and applications ranging from basic research to applied sciences to industrial measurement tasks. We at Menlo try to support these efforts as best as we can. In the past, this has led to new, improved product lines like the fiber combs FC1500, and the AstroCombs for calibration of telescopes. Until now, more than 200 customers worldwide are using Optical Frequency Combs for high precision optical measurements in various applications like optical clocks, cold atoms and molecules, metrology, distance measurements, Fourier spectroscopy, and Lidar measurements.


All our systems are hands-off and designed for 24/7 operation. And our customers make use of this feature. Examples include: Menlo combs are being dropped from >100 m in drop towers and are flying in air planes in parabolas for measurements in zero g. In 2015, our space system was successfully launched on board a sounding rocket (Texus mission 51). In a double sense: rocket science. Missions have been repeated in 2017 and 2018, each time with added functionalities.

In short: Optical Frequency Combs have reached a technology level that makes them ready for applications in laboratories, in industrial environments, and in the near future also on board of satellites.

The continuous improvements also have driven the laser development to the extreme. In 2015, we launched a new generation of femtosecond fiber lasers based on our proprietary figure 9® technology.  With the figure 9® all-PM fiber design Menlo Systems' lasers offer excellent stability and low-noise operation, engineered for 24/7 operation. Applications range from basic science for the C-Fiber and orange products to micro-machining and surgery in ophthalmology for the BlueCut laser family. In 2018 and 2019, ultra low noise laser models (ULN) have been released, setting new standards.

The Terahertz time domain spectrometers TERA K15 and TeraSmart also benefit greatly from the new lasers. In combination with a new generation of Terahertz antennas, our customers benefit from higher power outputs, improved signal-to-noise ratios, and higher bandwidths in systems that have been qualified for applications ranging from spectroscopy to quality control.

Supported by business angel and strategic partner Alex Cable and Thorlabs Inc, Menlo Systems opened its US subsidiary in Newton, New Jersey in late 2006 to establish a direct line to its customers in North America. The co-location with the headquarters of Thorlabs Inc allows us to give excellent technical support as well as excellent and in-time service to our customers. Our highly qualified US engineers guarantee that the high quality in products and technical support is also given within the Americas.

We are supporting our Asian customers with Menlo staff engineers who are located in the respective countries. As such, we can guarantee excellent technical support as well as excellent and promt service. In addition, regular in-house trainings in Germany make sure that knowledge transfer and quality transfer is provided at any time.

In 2019, with over 100 employees in the second decade of its operation, Menlo Systems will continue to explore the ultraprecise and ultrafast world together with our customers. We will do our best to deliver products Made in Germany that fulfill highest standards in quality and reliability.

Menlo Systems in short


Management Team:
Dr. Michael Mei, CEO
Dr. Ronald Holzwarth, CTO

Martinsried/Munich, Germany

Transfer of innovative optical technologies into user-friendly products

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menlo nobelpreis 02 2

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2005
Roy J. Glauber, John L. Hall, Theodor W. Hänsch